Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "You Have Already Proved It"

This poem came out of the September 4, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from DW user Satsuma.  It also fills the "women being awesome" square in my 9-2-18 card for the Ladiesbingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them.  The rate is $0.50/line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.
So far sponsors include: DW user Satsuma, janetmiles

118 lines, Buy It Now = $90
Amount donated = $40
Verses posted = 28 of 45

Amount remaining to fund fully = $50
Amount needed to fund next verse = $1
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $1

"You Have Already Proved It"

Being a paladin was
harder than Ari suspected.

She thought that she knew
what it would be like.

After all, she had been
a novice for over a year.

But this was different.

"Try it again," Shahana said
without a trace of sympathy.

"I'm tired," Ari said.

"So?" Shahana said.
"Will the enemy wait while
you catch your breath?
Pick up the sword."

Groaning, Ari bent
to pick up her sword.

The star in the pommel
was dark at the moment.
That was rather the problem.

"Light it," Shahana said.

"Easy for you to say,"
Ari grumbled. She knew
that she sounded like a novice
again, but she felt that way.

Everything new was old again.

She concentrated on the star,
hummed a snatch of hymn,
and it lit with a blaze of glory.

Then something whacked her arm,
and the light snuffed out.

"Blast it!" Ari snapped.

"Hold your focus,"
Shahana said. "You
must learn how to do
two things at once, fight
and channel divine energy.

"This is pointless, Shahana,"
said Ari. "I can't do it."

"You can take care
of several things at
the same time ... you
have already proved
it more than once,"
Shahana replied.

"But I've been trying
for days and I can't
do this right," Ari said.

Shahana clucked her tongue.
"When you ride a horse, do you
ignore the trail before you?"

"Of course not," Ari said.
"The horse doesn't know
which way she should go."

"When you cook, do you
turn your back on the kettle over
the hearth while you chop vegetables
for the salad?" Shahana asked.

"No, because the fire might need
more wood, or the kettle might
start to boil over," Ari said.

"This is like that," Shahana said.
"You can do it. You have done it.
This is just a different way."

"But I can't fight and pray
at the same time," Ari said.
"I need peace to find my way
to the grace of Gailah."

"No you don't," Shahana said.
"You just think that you do. Gailah
isn't just peace in the absence of war.
She is peace during the war. She is
the truce to clear the wounded and
the pause that lies between breaths.
Find that, and you will find your way."

"I don't know," Ari muttered.

"I know," Shahana said. She
hefted another hedgeapple.
"Now, try that again."

Ari lifted her sword,
lit it, and concentrated
on dodging the missiles
that Shahana threw at her.

Sometimes she succeeded,
and other times she failed.

The star went off, went on,
flickered like a fading lamp.

Ari gritted her teeth and
dragged herself through
the exercises anyway.

"If you can't do better,
I'm going to start throwing
rocks," Shahana warned her.

"I'm trying!" Ari wailed.

"Try harder," Shahana said,
picking up a round stone.

Ari threw herself into
the exercise, concentrating
on avoiding the missiles
rather than lighting her sword.

She moved through the paces,
gathering speed as she went,
the hilt light and easy in her hand.

She found the peace that she
had discovered in learning how
to wield a sword in the first place.

And the Star of Gailah caught fire.

Ari fought on, dancing between
the hail of forest fruits and river stones.

Nothing could touch her now, and
her sword left trails of starfire
in the darkening twilight air.

"Enough," Shahana called.
"It is time to come eat supper."

Ari flopped onto the fallen log
and accepted a bowl of soup.

"I did it," she said, grinning.

"I knew you could," Shahana said.
"You have already proved it."

* * *


“You can take care of several things at the same time ... you have already proved it once”

Multitasking is the ability to do two or more things at the same time. People often confuse this with task switching. They are not the same thing at all. Many complex skills -- such as swordfighting, horseback riding, and belly dancing -- require you to do several things simultaneously. In this case, activating a divine artifact is a separate task from swinging the sword itself, and takes practice to do both together. Other skills, such as cooking, greatly benefit from the ability to divide attention across projects in different stages of completion. Sometimes it's just a way to keep from dying of boredom; I almost never do long craft projects without listening to music. Parenting involves doing almost everything while also doing childcare at the same time. And no, it's not new, it predates Homo sapiens. Executives just do it wrong, so scientists are measuring it wrong. Multitasking offers some important advantages. Here are some tips on doing it right.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing

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